Thursday, October 11, 2018

Off With Their Heads

When things don't go as planned, there's always cake.

Mac and I had a date to eat dinner in service of my hired mouth and then get our culture fix with a play. Simple enough.

Except that when we got to the restaurant I was supposed to be reviewing, it wasn't open. Oh, sure, the sign on the door said they were open daily until 10 but it was only 6:30 and the place was locked, closed up tight. The open sign hung dark and unlighted.

Could it have come and gone already?

Rather than ponder what was up, we got right back in the car and made a beeline for old faithful, My Noodle & Bar, and the front treehouse booth, where we both pretended to look at the menu when really, we both knew we'd be ordering the exact same thing we get every time we go. My same old broccoli and chicken and her same old chicken noodle soup.

Mind you, we do it only to make ourselves feel like we're not the creatures of habit that we clearly are. But then, didn't I read somewhere that most people order the exact same thing from their neighborhood Asian restaurant every single time they go?

Perhaps we are not so pathetic as I thought.

When my food arrived, it seemed somehow more meager a portion than it typically is, a fact confirmed when Mac looked across the table and asked, "Isn't that a smaller serving than usual?"

I know, I know, size shouldn't matter, but when you're hungry, it does. And it wasn't just me because once Mac got busy with her meal, she looked up with disappointment. "There's only one fish ball instead of two," she complained and as the resident chicken noodle soup expert, I didn't doubt she was correct.

Rather than focus on the failings of our favorite dishes, I suggested we adjourn to Garnett's to share a piece of cake and make everything better again, an easy sell considering even my sweet tooth takes a backseat to Mac's.

The funny part was, after that she told me that in one of the blogs she follows (besides mine, of course), the woman shared that she she avoids sweets. "And she has the most beautiful skin, I guess from not eating sugar," Mac concluded.

Well, we'll just have to make peace with the skin we have because there's no way either of us could be that disciplined. Or even want to, no matter how magnificent our complexions might get. Next topic.

Naming the dessert choices once we got to Garnett's, our server got only as far as "coconut cake with caramel and chocolate ganache" before we both gave her the look and she asked if she should stop right there. Ladies and germs, we have a winner.

Sharing a massive slice, I told Mac that the only way it could have been better was if it had been chocolate coconut cake with caramel and chocolate ganache. She rolled her eyes, so I'm not sure she agreed with me.

From there, it was back to J-Ward to leave the car and hoof it over to the Basement to see 5th Wall's production of "Lizzie, the Musical." Because nothing makes for good show tunes like the tale of a 19th century axe murderer.

Conceived of as a punk rock opera, the play got high marks from both of us for its all female cast (well, if you don't count the band led by the fabulous Starlet Knight, which allowed a couple of men in) and a lesbian love story subplot.

So. Much. Girlpower.

As for what drives Lizzie, that would be Daddy who visits her bedroom and takes what she shouldn't have to give. As if that isn't awful enough, he also kills her beloved birds and leaves them in a bloody sack. Meanwhile her sister is all riled up by their stepmother who has replaced the daughters in her new husband's will.

Knowing all that helps explain a lot when both parents wind up bloodied and dead like the pigeons.

Using mic stands as props they could throw, kick, flip and, yes, even sing into, the four characters - Lizzie Borden, her sister Emma, her lover Alice and the show's highlight, Bridget the Irish maid - pump their fists, flip their hair and generally convey full-on '80s riot grrrl style.

In fact, when Lizzie comes onstage in a red satin bustier and skirt after wielding her axe, intending to destroy evidence by burning her bloody clothes, the feeling is just this side of a #MeToo moment. Here is a woman who has zero shits to give.

That she's ultimately acquitted of the crime felt particularly satisfying given the years she'd had to suffer in silence. Because the more things change, the more they stay the same. Kudos, 5th Wall, for choosing such a timely topic.

Murder, girls kissing and coconut cake. What more can you ask of a Wednesday night girl date?

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